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Years ago, Merlin and I were able to minister to inmates in a prison, he to the men and I to the women.  When I had finished sharing and praying for the ladies, the prison chaplain presented me with this lovely white flower. It was lovingly made from the only thing that was available to them – toilet paper. What incredible care and patience was used to make each petal, each leaf with such perfection. The prisoner had taken what is normally considered trash to be flushed down the toilet and had painstakingly created a thing of beauty.

How like our loving Heavenly Father! He will take the “trash” of our lives – our wrong attitudes, destructive habits, outright sins – and will forgive us, cleanse us, and make us alive in Christ. Then, as we submit to His tender correction, God patiently and carefully makes something beautiful out of our lives.

Paul said in Philippians chapter three that he considered all the things he had previously accomplished – whether good or bad – as rubbish. He determined to forget those things from his past and was now pressing on toward the goal of knowing Christ intimately.

Let us also reach for the goal that Jesus has set before us – to become one with Him. Jesus will take us right where we are. Then as we lay down those things, we once held dear, He will lovingly transform each of us into a person of everlasting beauty and value.

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